Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Photoblogging: Against The Grain

Click for 1200x900.

Shown above is a detail from Roy Lichtenstein's Bedroom at Arles, his riff on Vincent Van Gogh's domestic scene. It's been hanging in the Atrium of the NGA East Building for a month or so now, as part of the great Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection exhibition. The painting is such a cheerful presence! I keep getting hypnotized by Lichtenstein's exaggerated green wood grain, so I finally had to take a picture of it for my own enjoyment.

Here's what the whole (large) painting looks like (I didn't take this shot):

I like how Roy Lichtenstein loosened up a little (if you can call it that; he was never, ever "loose.") in his later work, using secondary colors, shades and tints more and more, and patterns other than his beloved Ben Day dots and stripes. The variety of color in the painting above is extraordinary compared to the strict minimalism of his "classic" comic strip works of thirty years earlier.

It's not hard to see why I love Roy Lichtenstein after I've been going on and on about Ernie Bushmiller lately: both are precise draftsmen and brilliant minimalist composers of immaculate spaces.  So clean, and as Lichtenstein brilliantly demonstrates in The Bedroom at Arles, so timeless.


Karen Zipdrive said...

I've always liked his graphic approach. That carpet pattern was really extraordinary for him.
Loved it.

Matty Boy said...

I was going to ask about the Bushmiller/Lichtenstein connection and your opinion on their relative merits. Thanks for this post.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Roy was a genius.